Le’Andrea Gillis, one of the most accomplished athletes on the Savannah State campus. Le’Andrea made 2nd team ALL-SIAC, she was the SIAC’s leading scorer from last year in basketball, the league leader in three-pointers, and an honors student in the classroom but even with all those accomplishments and accolades even she is having a hard time with the pandemic and how it affected her.
Due to COVID-19 like everyone Gillis was forced to come in March but her living situation was a lot different from others. Being an athlete from Adrian, GA there aren’t a lot of facilities that were open at the time and even later on the summer for her to work on her game. Because of this, it made her life kind of stagnant, she lost confidence, sometimes found herself in depression, “It was hard, not being able to work out, being from the country being stuck in the house all day with literally nothing to do, it was hard on me and wore me down at times” She stated. Gillis felt as if coming back to school would be a lot harder than just being away.
Gillis felt like coming back to school was scary being that people from Atlanta and Florida, where there were high COVID rates were all going to be on one campus partying and mingling without being properly tested. She explains that the basketball team has made a lot of sacrifices to be where they’re at as far as being tested consistently, filling out paperwork, and trying to work on their skills while maintaining social distancing guidelines. She feels as if the pandemic has messed up her regiment of staying in shape as well.
Normally, her basketball season starts in September for practice and begins to play in October, but with COVID their practices begin in October but not heavy practices at all, normally they practice 20 hours a week compared to the 8 hours they are practicing now. The adjustment period for her has been brutal, not only does she have to be more responsible, but she has to hope her teammates are doing the right thing as well, so she doesn’t end up getting sick herself.
Her Outlook on the season is still positive though, she feels as if last year she grew as a player she went from 6.5 points per game as a freshman to 18.1 points per game as a sophomore leading the conference in scoring and feels like she can make an even bigger leap this year.
“My support from my family, friends, and loved ones is huge, it elevates me to play better and harder because I don’t want to let them down either,” said Le’Andrea. She plans to make SIAC All-Conference 1st team which she felt like she should have made last year, and she wants to be SIAC Player of the year and most importantly bring the SIAC conference championship back to Savannah State.